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MacrossMan

Jetfire or Skyfire

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I do not know if this has been asked or is just a plain dumb question, but here goes. I've been watching the first season of Transformers from 1984. My question is what happened to Jetfire? I do not remember him looking the way he does in the cartoon. I specifically remember him looking exactly like a VF-1. That is what drew me to Robotech. I thought it was in-depth story about Jetfire originally. They also refer to him as skyfire in the cartoon. Was this always the case or is there a different version out there with the original Jetfire? :unsure:

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Jetfire was never animated nor included in the G1 tv-series. What you probably remember was the toy-version, which was a recolored/rebadged Takatoku Super VF-1S.

Skyfire was the one in the G1 tv-series. His toy-version didn't happen until the Classics was released just a couple of years ago or so.

Edited by treatment

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You can thank early 80s international toy merchandising for this one. This also puzzled me for years until I found out about Macross. Basically, Transformers proved enormously successful in the West, and Hasbro quickly needed more Transformers designs than the original Japanese, Takara-developed line could provide. They therefore sought licensing agreements with other Japanese manufacturers. I'm not entirely sure how they did it, but one of the designs they acquired was the Takatoku toys version of the Macross VF-1 Valkyrie. This was used as the basis for the Transformers toy Jetfire.

A number of other Transformers designs were acquired this way, among them Roadbuster, Shockwave and Omega Supreme (the toy of which, in the UK, was actually released first by Grandstand in a competing toy line to Transformers...!)

However, and again I'm not sure why (presumably because the anime rights to Macross were owned by someone else), they couldn't use the animation design of the Valkyrie, and had to come up with their own design for the actual animation. Some modern Jetfire toys pay "homage" to both designs with certain design touches.

Why this design was called Skyfire in the animation and Jetfire in toy and comic form is one of those Mysteries.

Edited by F-ZeroOne

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Jetfire did appear in some early promotional materials also, this might be what has you convinced he was in the actual TV show Macrossman. If I recall correctly, and it's quite possible I don't since I'm not a huge Transformers guy, when Takatoku went out of business Matsuhiro picked up the molds to the VF-1 (Matsuhiro having had some sort of business relationship which allowed them to grab whatever they wanted to repay debts). Matsuhiro grabbed the molds, didn't really bother too much with licensing, and made a deal to sell a ton of VF-1 toys to the West as a Transformer. Unfortunately, at a very similar time, Robotech was coming into formation. As HG had officially paid for the rights to the VF-1 outside of Japan they were bound to have some issues but the genie was already out of the bottle. The immediate legal "WTF?" session ended with an agreement that the VF-1 would never appear in Transformers.

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Thanks for clearing that up guys. The Youtube link provided some clarification as well; this one in particular Copyright issues. The Jetfire toy was a remold of the VF-1S Valkyrie from the Macross/Robotech series. Because the toy was from an existing anime series, the character had to look completely different, as TF was also released in Japan For some odd reason I see Jetfire in the cartoon though as well as him being referred to as Jetfire.

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lol never saw that commercial. Pretty cool.

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I always thought that the reason Jetfire was called Skyfire in the cartoon was that the jet was synonymous with Macross. So the look of the robot and any reference to it's transformation was banned. Though in the comucs it was still called Jetfire.

I really bites that Matchbox couldn't make a fully transformable Valkyrie because the toy mold was co-opted by Hasbro.

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You can thank early 80s international toy merchandising for this one. This also puzzled me for years until I found out about Macross. Basically, Transformers proved enormously successful in the West, and Hasbro quickly needed more Transformers designs than the original Japanese, Takara-developed line could provide. They therefore sought licensing agreements with other Japanese manufacturers. I'm not entirely sure how they did it, but one of the designs they acquired was the Takatoku toys version of the Macross VF-1 Valkyrie. This was used as the basis for the Transformers toy Jetfire.

Jetfire was licensed before there was a cartoon, when it was JUST a pile of transforming robot toys.

Now, OTHER characters, like Shockwave, were rarely used because they weren't Takara toys, and Takara wanted to sell Transformers in Japan too.

But Jetfire was different. They didn't HAVE animation rights to him. Not internationally, anyways. So when the export-this-show-back-to-Japan idea started... hey, this dude wasn't usable!

The REAL question is... why did they special-case him and make Skyfire, when they ignored Roadbuster and Whirl totally?

...

Actually, that doesn't really makes sense. They never used the Deluxe Insecticons in the cartoon, and they had no animation rights to worry about.

Maybe it was just that Bandai owned them, and Takara wasn't gonna have it's business partners advertising products from their arch-nemesis?

That seems to be the common thread. All the toys that were TOTALLY ignored were owned by Bandai, the ones that were MARGINALIZED were owned by Not-Bandai-But-Also-Not-Takara.

A number of other Transformers designs were acquired this way, among them Roadbuster, Shockwave and Omega Supreme (the toy of which, in the UK, was actually released first by Grandstand in a competing toy line to Transformers...!)

Shockwave's base toy was also released as a competing product in the US, by Radio Shack.

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If it makes you feel bad you could always just watch Dorvack. It's a pretty crazy show.

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Jetfire was licensed before there was a cartoon, when it was JUST a pile of transforming robot toys.

Now, OTHER characters, like Shockwave, were rarely used because they weren't Takara toys, and Takara wanted to sell Transformers in Japan too.

But Jetfire was different. They didn't HAVE animation rights to him. Not internationally, anyways. So when the export-this-show-back-to-Japan idea started... hey, this dude wasn't usable!

The REAL question is... why did they special-case him and make Skyfire, when they ignored Roadbuster and Whirl totally?

...

Actually, that doesn't really makes sense. They never used the Deluxe Insecticons in the cartoon, and they had no animation rights to worry about.

Maybe it was just that Bandai owned them, and Takara wasn't gonna have it's business partners advertising products from their arch-nemesis?

That seems to be the common thread. All the toys that were TOTALLY ignored were owned by Bandai, the ones that were MARGINALIZED were owned by Not-Bandai-But-Also-Not-Takara.

Shockwave's base toy was also released as a competing product in the US, by Radio Shack.

Things were always insane in G1 from many points of view. I seem to remember an episode dedicated to saving Wheeljack from death, (can't remember what happened to him), and what a big deal it was to save him, and then he's trashed the way he is in the movie.

Taksraven

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Things were always insane in G1 from many points of view. I seem to remember an episode dedicated to saving Wheeljack from death, (can't remember what happened to him), and what a big deal it was to save him, and then he's trashed the way he is in the movie.

Taksraven

i don't remember that episode. i guess i just can't remember... i saw all the episodes when i was little.

i also noticed in the movie that alot of autobots got killed off but not that many decepticons died besides starscream.

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I actually remember the episode where Skyfire goes into gerwalk mode!

150px-Skyfire_Gerwalk.jpg

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Everything about Jetfire/Skyfire: http://transformers.wikia.com/wiki/Jetfire_(G1)

http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Jetfire_(G1) too!

And it's ALL conjecture. There's not one single solid fact.

So... what we know is ...

The show focused on the Takara toys.

It occasionally featured the toys from other companies, but far less regularly(Poor Shockwave... :'( ).

Jetfire was featured in a roundabout fashion, in both the cartoon and the comic book.

Roadbuster and Whirl were never used.

Nor were the (smaller and less expensive/interesting) Deluxe Insecticons.

The common thread among the unfeatured toys is Bandai.

...

And just to throw a wrench in things... Top Spin and Twin Twist were Takara 'bots, mass-market(as opposed to the mail-in-only toys) and were never used.

Moral of the story: Transformers doesn't make sense. Not IRL, and not in-continuity.

Edited by JB0

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All of those guys were used in the UK comics.

And therein lies more weirdness. The UK comics featured heavily dinobot Swoop, who AFAIK, was never available in the UK (or if he was, I never saw him anywhere). In the UK-produced strips, Grimlock was a total badass who could go toe-to-toe with Megatron and answered readers letters. In the US strips, it was "Me Grimlock, me dumb". The contrast was even starker because in the UK comic, US and UK strips ran in the same issue. The UK strips got a supporting character and friend of the Dinobots called Centurion, who when last seen was melt-fused to Megatron and being dredged out of the Thames by Richard Branson. You'd think that would make a perfect statue piece (I guess Centurions character rights are held by someone else, though)...

Edited by F-ZeroOne

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I found a YouTube video clip of Transformers G1 dubbed in Japanese, which features Jetfire.

Note that Macross voice actors Shō Hayami (Maximillian Jenius) and the late Hirotaka Suzuoki (Lynn Kaifun) also star in the series. Hayami plays as Spike and Suzuoki plays as Starscream.

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once upon a time somebody made a skyfire custom that looked nice. Basically a jetfire with a single booster but done well. somebody probably has pics saved around here. I won't go into the whole takatoku-matsushiro [joon's + china ko's]-bandai story as even I remember that that story is somewhere already posted on the forum. maybe dave remembers where. I know the story of the molds... not the toon.

hey dave... not everybody has a photographic memory and remembers every post in every thread... especially those who disappear for months/years at a time. I will happily tip my beer to you for pointing out further places that info can be located at as well as humoring some of us long time noob's ;)

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